Former MP Chris Green knew his chances were slim in yesterday’s election. The national polls showed a Labour landslide, and Mr Green knew it.

Around midnight, the former MP said he could feel the tension building. However, he still held out hope. An exit poll by Ipsos UK for Sky News, the BBC, and ITV put his seat at a 98 per cent likelihood for a Labour gain.

Mr Green said: “Well, see this is where we’re in a much better place than in 2017, where the prediction was a one per cent chance of a Conservative hold, so I’ve already doubled my odds, I’m looking quite positive tonight.”

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However, he admitted the night was unlikely to be positive for the Conservatives.

When asked who should replace Rishi Sunak – of whom Mr Green said he had always had his doubts – as leader of the Conservative party, he answered: “Well, I suppose the starting point to answering that question is ‘who will be left to replace him?’”, before adding that there were ‘no’ positives from the evening.

Just three-and-a-half hours later, his predictions of wipeout came true – his seat lost, to jubilation from Labour.

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A talkative Mr  Green was contrasted by winner Mr Brickell, who remained coy throughout the evening and into the morning, refusing to give any comment before the official results declaration – perhaps worried about jinxing the result.

In the end, however, both candidates were good natured, with Mr Brickell thanking his predecessor in his victory speech, and Mr Green wishing him ‘all the best in the future’ – telling The Bolton News that he is an ‘intelligent guy’ who ‘will get to grips with all of the details that the constituency requires’.

Now, Bolton has a Labour-run council and three Labour MPs. Something Mr Brickell said would mean the government and council could work ‘hand in hand’.

However, amid Labour’s win is the elephant in the room: Reform UK.

Receiving 17,363 votes, Brickell did receive more votes than anyone else, but at less than 40 per cent, it was far from a majority consensus.

With Reform UK receiving 8,517 votes and Green receiving 12,418, together the right wing parties could have edged over Labour – though the left wing vote, with Greens and the Liberal Democrats – was somewhat higher.

Asked about what he thought of the impact of the increase in votes for Reform UK, Mr Brickell said: “I think a lot of people were fed up with a Conservative government that had failed to deliver on lots of promises that it had made, and people were clearly frustrated and wanted to express that at the ballot box.

“But I’m very proud with the result for the Labour party.”

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